|All young parishioners in grades 4 through high school are invited to become Altar Servers. Altar Servers assist the clergy in the performance of all Sacred Ceremonies at the Sunday, Holy Day, and wedding liturgies. All Altar Servers are required to attend initial training sessions before being scheduled to serve Mass. Servers are expected to take responsibility for showing up when scheduled, arriving early, dressing neatly, and serving with the utmost reverence. This is an important ministry that welcomes all who are willing to make this special commitment to serve at the altar of the Lord.
|Lectors or Readers proclaim the first and second readings at Sunday Mass, and/or first reading at weekday Masses. They also serve as acolytes (altar servers) at the daily masses. Preparatory material helps the lector to prayerfully prepare the readings ahead of time; and to proclaim the Word of God in a reverent manner to the congregation. Lectors also read the Introduction at beginning of Mass and, at times, the intercessions (Universal Prayer). Lectors also participate in various other events when readers are needed.
The Eucharistic liturgy has a rich and beautiful tradition of music, from Georgian chant and Latin hymns to contemporary music. All of which invites us to full, conscious and active participation. Pope Francis has clearly defined the purpose of music at Mass. He said that it is "first of all a matter of participating intensely in the mystery of God, in the 'theophany' that takes place in every Eucharistic celebration, in which the Lord makes himself present among his people, who are called truly to participate in the salvation realized by the crucified and risen Christ" (Homily at Santa Marta, December 12, 2013). Lifting our hearts to God in liturgy always goes beyond the boundaries of human speech. Thus, liturgy, by its very nature, calls upon the help of music and song to praise to God. In liturgy, it is possible to enculturate the many types of songs and instruments in as much as they enhance the celebration and lead us to focus on God.
St. James is blessed with dedicated, faithful and talented musicians and vocalists who participate in our music ministry. Our music ministry is director by Jill Russo, who has a distinguished career in liturgical music as well as a family background of church organists.